things in jars

Today I had jars on the brain. I finished my fairy jar for the swap. It's going to the post tomorrow... and I took lots of pictures, but I can't show them just yet. I don't want to ruin a minute of my swap partner's anticipation! Here are some other jars to show you:

Am I more than a little sheepish to admit that when Ben took me to San Fransisco for my birthday earlier this month I got souveniers at... the Pottery Barn. I do so love the Barn, mostly I think it's because they aren't really in Canada, so they are a real novelty for me. I had most of these seaside pieces before, but the crab came from our trip. The star light fixture is sitting on my side table for right now but I'm having it installed over the sink in the kitchen. I've always wanted one just like it.

More shells - the starfishes are from a funny little boutique in Quebec from the trip when we got engaged. This is at the front door. The jars will probably stay in this theme well into August, then I'm planning a September "back to school" scheme with multiple pencils, erasers, faux apples and rulers! Summer hasn't even started yet, and I'm planning back to school. I must be sick.

hidden treasures

I spent the better part of the weekend getting the pool opened up for the first time. It was gorgeous weather here on Sunday afternoon, but the pool was hovering just under 70 degrees. Loopy and her cousins jumped in anyway! I weeded and gardened away. Otherwise, my time was spent in the craft room, organizing and sorting, getting set up, and working on my fairy jar for Little Melfie. The desk is starting to look less random. The fairy jar is hidden on it somewhere... can you spot it?

The craft room has a walk-in closet! Ooooh I am in craft heaven.
I'm starting to get a handle on it. There was some decent shelving and good lighting already. I need to add lots of hooks for tools....

I painted the wall behind Clara with blackboard paint. After I cure it, I plan on lettering a welcome verse for all who enter. She pops out much better with her pretty pink apron on against the black background, don't you agree? Eventually the orange antique shelf will be filled with small mason jars, but the family has to eat lots of Classico bruschetta until then.

pinky pinkerton

In all the hubbub of the last while, with birthdays and travel and renovations, I forgot to show you Loopy's pink 'do. We did this almost a month ago now, and I'm amazed she still has lots of pink - it's faded into the shrimp-cocktail version you see here but it was pretty flourescent when it was fresh! I realized I hadn't shared it with you when I saw Miz Smoochie lips' Pinky gal - I wonder how they are fading out?

We are debating the re-do hair-do before it's completely gone, but I wonder what havoc the summer sun and the swimming pool will wreak upon all this cuteness?
Next time we colour her hair, we'll take pictures right away!

Even at twelve, she's still up for a swing at the park on our street. I took 98 pictures tonight. I never tire of trying to get a good shot of the kids, no matter how old they are.
Veto came home for one day, on Saturday he's off for three weeks to Ontario. He brought me a dozen of these, no need for flowers here! The way to my heart - or out of the doghouse - is with pastry.
We'll miss dad while he's away, but we'll get the gardening underway, take part in Little Melfie's Fairy Jar Swap, paint the kitchen, and take a road trip to visit Grandma Shirley. Check in on us, will you?

more 40th

Sweet Pepper worked hard on my birthday celebration. She was in cahoots with Veto and the Fan. She even wrangled her mother in on the action! I don't know how she does it, she's so busy. But enough good stuff about her - she made a photo collage of all proof of my bad hair days over the last 40 years! Actually, it's pretty adorable, not just because it's plastered with photos of moi, but I can look at it forever and so many memories are captured right there, in one wonderful piece of art. She organized it at WalMart, of all places - what a crafty gal! She looked a little pooped at the end of the party that night, and she had to work the next day. I hope she knows I had a wonderful time and I really appreciate everything! Thanks, dollface.

This is a cardboard maquette of the fireplace mantle my Dad is making for us:

It will be red oak stained dark to match both the original and new hardwoods. I had the hearth made, the top surface is concrete. Deep enough for extra seating, plus I can put my decorated jars out. So far, I'm loving the scale of it. I'll keep the maquette up for a few days as a test drive. I am a huge fan of dentil moulding these days, we have it on the outside of the house, in the den and now on the fireplace.

Tonight I'm going to attempt putting up the tin ceiling in the powder room by myself. Veto is out of town, it's a little cold and rainy, and I need a project.

a sneak peek just because...

my 40th birthday came and went with good fanfare and wonderful surprises. I'm not ready to show you the magical craft room just yet, but since I've been sharing renovation photos, here are some shots to tantalize you, taken in the magical craft room, of two wonderful things from two wonderful women....

My dear friend MJ, who I have known since First Grade, drove to Saskatoon with her dh Ron for my surprise party (oh, that is a good story for another day) and she brought with her this utterly fabulous apron that she made just for me! And to think, we barely made it out of Ninth Grade Home Ec! She's come a long way. A trusted and loyal friend, (I like to say she's my "oldest" friend but she carefully corrects my grammar every time I say this - she is not "the oldest" friend I have had, she is "the friend I have had the longest"... ah, yes! spoken like a lawyer) she has become very crafty in her not-as-old-age-as-me and you would not believe the quality of this apron if I showed it to you. It is to die for. She simply must sell them.

Right now, Clara is modeling it for me. I think I may just use it for crafting only. By the way, I'm planning on painting that little alcove where Clara resides with black chalkboard paint and using it for a little idea bubble for Clara and I both.

And oh, I know I have told you about my sweet cousin Kelly, who's not really my cousin at all if you want to get all technical about it. Her husband is my husband's cousin. That makes us cousins, right? Of course it does. More like super-sister-friends. She's a doll, that Kelly. She loaded my party down with treats that she FedEx'd in because she couldn't be there herself. I had a Saucy-tini just for her, of course! Have a look at the ribbon board she sent:

I know it's too small to read, but it's filled with little words of love and inspiration, the type of thing that makes a girl sit down and weep, she's so happy inside. I ran straight home and hung it in the craft room, so I can look at it every single day. I'll keep adding things of inspiration to it all the time, but I will never, ever take sweet Kelly's words off that little board. It was, a very Juicy party indeed!

lady loopy and her lily pad

Welcome to Loopy's room. High on the third floor, with it's own bathroom that needs a complete overhaul. Things to come. In the meantime, a peek of her little corner of the world... she chose the alarming pink paint shade herself but I must admit it grew on me when we put it all together. The two walls under the dormer we wallpapered in an embossed damask cover, base painted cream and then she herself lightly rolled the pattern in brown paint. She highlighted with a little aqua. I think we have some more work to do on it. It looks fabulous with the bedding from anthropologie, but it needs to be a little more... shabby. I want to pull some of it off the wall and make it look like someone wanted to be rid of it - maybe add some "stains" around the ceiling, and I was even thinking of decoupaging some French newspaper pieces (tea stained) where it gets ripped. Might as well have something interesting to look at while in bed.

I scored two giant tin ceiling pieces at one of my flea haunts in town. I'm debating to frame them over her bed or just fasten them to the wall... any thoughts?

I know, candy in a child's room is ridiculous, but it's too cheerful and cute, and I've been visiting too many Juicy Couture stores lately.

The chandalier was from the dent table here. What a glorious place. I paid thirty dollars for it and bought the cream spray paint on the same trip. Notice again my fascination with medallions. A repeat visit of the chocolate damask drapery used in the other rooms... along with aqua panels by Debbie Travis, cleared out at $14.99. That was a good day, now that I look back.

Here's our bright idea... I might need some advice. Do you see the big tree branch outside? Loopy and I want to make a branch on the inside of her room, to look like it burst through the pink wall near that chair. Big enough to drape it with white mini lights and sparkly crystal ornaments. A real tree trunk! I wonder if it can be done.

Her bedding is a mix of anthropologie markdowns and Winners markdowns. I love how it all goes together, even when the bed isn't made, it's lovely to look at!

I put new anthropologie handles on her dressers... and her precious framed mementos are up and out of harm's way. She won a baby beauty contest with that portrait. The roses are from when she was born.

When she's not at home, the bed is inhabited by Miami the bear, Emmy the American Girl, lovely lumplings Brownie and Point, and the anthropologie knit clown fish from Buddy.

The rest of the stuffies are residing in the "lily pad", a crawl space attached to Sidney's bedroom, just adjacent to her closet. Too deep to use as a cupboard, we have plans to fix it up "just right" over the summer, with new paint and carpet. Loopy and her menagerie of stuffed froggies can read and snooze in their own little hideaway.

what you've been asking for

This is Saucy's favourite room in the house so far, as renovations continue. The principal suite, or master bedroom. Brown and aqua... lurrve. There was water damage on the wall behind the bed and after it was repaired Saucy decided to have damask wallpaper put up. Plus, hanging a bold print on the angled wall prevented having to find artwork that would fit over the bed. Always thinking...

The brown velvet damask curtains are from her favourite secret shopping haunt.

The new bedding. Those two little patterned pillows - they started it all. The tiny blue and brown one was the inspiration for the entire scheme ($5.99 at Winners) and the other one - an exact match of the wallpaper, also found at Winners. Saucy was shocked when she brought it home and found it to be so similar to the wall covering.

Do you like the lamps? The bases came from Target, stuffed them into Saucy's luggage and lugged home from Arizona. The perfect shades for them were found at a specialty lighting store. Good quality lampshades can take inexpensive bases over the top! That quilted blanket, it looks exactly like the ones at Restoration Hardware, but it's actually from Winners.

In the foyer leading down to the suite sits the jewelry box that Saucy found on clearance at Bombay Company on Boxing Day. The chandelier is from Home Depot.

A drum shade is the main overhead fixture. It's a bold statement: masculine and oversized but the medallion gussies it up to be feminine enough for the rest of the room. Saucy had the mirrored closet doors removed and built double closets with white panel doors in an attempt to bring some brightness into the room and take it back to the age of the house.

Saucy's makeup vanity can be seen here.

say goodnight rory

All good things must come to an end. Blogging hiatuses. Giant birthday cakes. The Gilmore Girls. Tonight we bid adieu to all three.

It was the last episode of the Gilmore Girls. Ever. Loopy and I had a special picnic on the living room floor of pizza, Chinese food, Hello Kitty pop tarts, Captain Crunch cereal, cookie dough, Dr. Pepper and coffee. We laughed. We cried. We didn't answer the phone when it rang. It was a perfect ending but we were disappointed there was no clip show beforehand. I love clip shows before a series finale, don't you? They're like TV snacking. They make me a little sentimental.

Obviously I have my computer set up. In an embarassment of riches, I also got the right card for my laptop so blogging will now be so much easier! I have so many stories to tell, so much to show you. Camera cords, check. Glad to be back!

whisked away

Our house is for the most part, complete. Finally. So much done since February I can hardly believe it... can you? I suppose you have no idea! We've not had our computer even set up in all the commotion and mostly - destruction, so I've not shown our progress but I've got the "before" photos and will start posting them with "afters" starting next week. I can't wait to return to my normal schedule.

Also, I'm not sitting at my usual computer right now, anyway. I'm in San Francisco for the weekend! Sweet Ben whisked me here for my 40th birthday, which isn't until next week, but he knew I would really, really not want to be away from my children and parents on the actual day, so we came this weekend for a romantic getaway. I love it here. I have always considered Chicago my favorite city, but now I'm torn.

Today we rode the cable car to Union Square and shopped around. I picked out two wonderful-smelling candles at Diptyque. I can't wait for a rainy cool summer night, to light one of my candles and remember this trip.

The exterior work began on our house the day we left. Even though I'm a control freak, I still left town... I hope the painting is done when we get home Monday night. There are so many cute Victorian houses here, I've got so many ideas - I just might muster up some more steam to keep renovating when I get home!